How many of you were driving before we had a cell phone? It is most certainly a lot more convenient now that we have cell phones and all the add-ons they go with nowadays. Dial a Truck started in 1978, launched by the Jubitz brothers at their truck stop in Portland, Oregon. Within seven years in 1885 Dial A Truck monitors were installed in 200 truck stops in 42 states nationwide. The graphic above shows a timeline of how DAT has evolved throughout the years, and if we look at the advancements in cell phone technologies, one can see they closely resemble each other. I especially remember 1985 as that was the year I started driving. I can remember truck stops set aside a room with the load board installed on the wall and as many pay phones crammed into the small room. A particular load would get posted on the board and whoever was interested would rush to the phones to call about it. Yes, it is entirely different now!
Through the Years
One could look at the timeline above and see how through the years DAT has progressed along with technology. But, what did we do before load boards? I can tell you even when I started most truck stops were not set up with excellent phone service. If you were out on the road and needed to call someone, a driver had to find a payphone, remember those, and hope he could get close enough to park and not get a ticket. Most times a driver finished unloading and drove to the nearest pay phone to call dispatch. If you were lucky they had your load, and you could get everything taken care of with one stop, but 99 percent of the time they would tell you to call back. In which case one would have to drive to the nearest truck stop and wait in line to use the phone. Needless to say, it could be a painful process getting a load in the old days.
For some insight into how some dispatchers had to operate in those days read this short article here on the DAT website.www.dat.com/blog/post/40th-anniversary You can get the idea that things were not always easy and there was a lot of room for error.
We can always argue about the good ole days, but I think technology has done a lot to improve our industry. There is still room for drivers’ and management to be better educated on how to use this technology to be productive. Here are some of the improvements DAT has made over the years that I think make a drivers’ life a lot easier:
1995 – DAT introduces the Transportation Terminal™. With this device, DAT becomes the first North American freight-matching service to provide real-time data, transmitted via satellite. Subscribers are equipped with a desktop terminal and a rooftop-mounted satellite dish to receive the data.
1997 – DAT Connect™ for Windows®, an interactive software, allows users to access DAT Load Boards from a personal computer, via dial-up modem.
2001 – DAT is purchased by TransCore, a global provider of toll systems, customer service centers, design consulting, maintenance, traffic management systems, and radio frequency identification (RFID) manufacturing. TransCore also purchases DM Computing, makers of Keypoint Software, a transportation management software for freight brokers. One year earlier, TransCore acquired Viastar Services, a provider of fuel, cash management, and fleet compliance services for the trucking industry. Keypoint and the fleet compliance services later become part of DAT Solutions.
2004 – TransCore is acquired by Roper Technologies (NYSE: ROP), a diversified technology company and constituent of the S&P 500, Fortune 1000, and the Russell 1000 indices. Roper provides engineered products and solutions for global niche markets, including software information networks, medical, water, energy, and transportation.
2010 – DAT launches its RateView™ product, which provides average market rates for more than 65,000 point-to-point lanes.
2014 – TransCore DAT becomes DAT Solutions. The company provides a broad range of services to the transportation industry, including freight matching, freight rate information, carrier monitoring services, fleet tracking systems, transportation management software, and fleet compliance services.
2016 – DAT and Getloaded – a leading load board provider for small carriers and brokers – combine networks to create one super-database of spot market freight and capacity. The connected systems offer the industry’s largest and most diverse electronic marketplace for on-demand cargo.
2018 – DAT launches its OnTime™ product, a load tracking service where freight brokers can monitor the location and status of their managed freight using an app installed on the truck driver’s smartphone. DAT celebrates its 40th anniversary!
These statistics come from the DAT Website about the history of a great company. Which one is the most profitable to you? Not only have they made it easier for the drivers’ to do their jobs, but everyone involved in keeping a truck loaded and running has benefited.
DAT offers excellent products for owner/operators to include:
NEW! Load Tracking
Carrier Startup Guide
ELD Mandate Survival Guide
Truck Driver Apps
Carriers can find freight fast:
Keep Your Trucks Loaded
The trucking industry’s largest and best load board
993,000 loads posted every business day
See where your trucks are in demand
See what other carriers have gotten paid on every lane
NEW! Load Tracking
Tracking Software Guide
Broker Start-Up Guide
DAT Truckers Edge
These are just some of the services offered by DAT TruckersEdge. These services are your one stop for all things trucking. I cannot begin to show everything that is provided by DAT, but I urge you to click the link below and read about it. If your goal is to become a very successful owner/operator, partnering with DAT should be at the top of your to-do list.
No one can say that technology has not made our industry better. How many of you remember looking for a payphone and finally finding one to stand out in the cold, on hold for thirty minutes? Or better yet, calling and calling only to get that dreaded busy signal, while ten impatient drivers’ are waiting for the phone. Is it not much better sitting in your warm truck on the cell phone, with your load app, just punching in numbers and getting all the information one needs for a load?
A Trucker Lifestyle partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge Load Board to its members. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at www.truckersedge.com/377389. This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only.
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